Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What a disaster...

Belgium Comes to Cooperstown was a total catastrophe. I drank way too much, made an ass of myself, and passed out to the justifiable displeasure of my wife who fended off people taking pictures of me passed out. Ugh. There's a reason that one of the seven Duffs is named "Remorseful."

Here's what I remember of the beer mixed with various exclamations about things I missed cuz I got too hammered. Ommegang appears to have offered two new/small batch beers that I never tried. DAMN. I'm just going through the list of breweries and importers trying to reconstruct... American Flatbread's Gruit was kinda crummy. Interesting idea though. Appalachian Brewing's Obbie's Grand Cru was OK. The Reverend and Salvation from Avery were pretty good--both a little on the heavy side though. Brewer's Art apparently makes a green peppercorn tripel. How did I miss that? Boulevard Brewing was a bright spot. I tried a Dubbel, a Trippel, and "Saison with George Bret" and chatted with the brewer about technical matters. Real good brews with the appropriate respect for simplicity and complex but uncluttered flavors. I had an IPA from Brooklyn just to shake hands with Garrett Oliver and tell him I like his book. I was probably already slurring my speech though. Sigh.

BullFrog Brewery I was not wild about. Their Honey Super Saison was really crappy. Dogfish head brought Festina Lente, their peach lambic--it was delicous. I should have gone back for Fort and Raison d'Extra but I blew it. Harpoon had an IPA and a Belgian Pale and I apparently really liked the IPA, but don't remember why. I was headed rapidly downhill when I made it to Iron Hill, which is really too bad. I tried all the beers and loved them, but I have no palate memory at all; they brought a wit, a Flemish sour, a lambic, a strong, and a quad. North Coast's Brother Thelonious was a real stand-out with stunning malt character. Offshore Ale Company from Martha's Vineyard had a very chatty likeable brewer and terrific beers. Hop Goddess was a kind of XX/Orval inspired beer made with Sterling and Styrian Golding hops. I loved it. His Kolsch was absolutely textbook perfect and the Tripel was great too. He recommended the White Labs Kolsch yeast which I might try next time.

Then there's The Shed Restaurant and Brewery. "Substance D," a saison with Brett was good; Double Hoppy Illumination was good; Silent Illumination Black Saison was a real stunner. Bone dry; great malt character; all kinds of good things going on. Stone poured me a big glass of 6/6/06 (hastening my demise). It was good but predicatably a little on the heavy side. Southampton Publick house made a great impression too with a Grand Cru, an Abbot 12, a Tripel, and a Double White. They were fantastic beers. I wonder if the brewer was there? I should've asked because I love his Farmhouse Ales book. Stewart's Brewery offered a totally unmemorable Abbey Hoffman Dubbel. Stoudt's Tripel sucked. Stoudt's pretty much just sucks overall in my experience. Rogue now makes a Saison--it wasn't bad. I apparently had another Gruit brewed by Zero Gravity... What's with all the Gruits? Victory Whirlwind Wit was lost on me I think. I forgot to go to Unibroue.

I missed an embarassment of riches in the area of imports. I had a De Konink (blech), a Gulden Draak (yum), Rochefort 6 and 10, Westmalle Tripel, Maredsous 10, and Lindemans Pomme. The last one, actually, I think I just smelled and dumped. Somehow or other I appear to have had La Moneuse, Gavroche Red, and Thiriez Blond, but I don't remember them at all. Shit. The most grotesque omission is that apparently Shelton Brothers brought Fantome's Brise Bon-Bons, an IPA Saison of sorts. I didn't see it. Oh and I really wanted to see if Vinny Cilurzo was at Russian River so I could offer him a brett beer. He may or may not have been there but it would've been cool to at least try.

So, yes, it was a total disaster and I still feel a little ill. And remorseful.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wow, Jason. Wow.

9:21 PM  

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